Stem cell donation eligibility and registration

There are certain health criteria that determine if someone is eligible for stem cell donation. These criteria are created to protect the long-term health of both donors and patients.

Additionally, patients who need a stem cell transplant are more likely to find a matching donor among those who share their ethnic ancestry. If you come from an ethnically diverse or mixed-race background, you could be the match they’ve been waiting for.

A checklist and pencil

Step 1
Check your eligibility

Answer some questions to help us determine if you can join the stem cell registry.

Symbol of a person with a checkmark

Step 2
Complete your stem cell registry profile

Fill in your contact information and other required fields.

Document with a checkmark symbol by it

Step 3
Provide consent

Read and sign our consent form to complete your registration.

Hand holding a question mark in its palm

Step 1
Receive your swab kit

Within 1 to 3 weeks, you’ll receive your buccal (cheek) swab kit in the mail with instructions.

Watch a video on how it works

Swabs being placed into an envelope

Step 2
Send your swab kit back to the stem cell registry

Follow the instructions to pack up your kit and return it to us in the prepaid envelope. We'll process your swab sample for HLA typing (genetic testing), and we'll notify you once you become officially searchable on the registry for patients in need.

Hand using a tablet device

Step 3
Keep your contact information up to date

Your match could be found in a month or several years from now. The best way you can prepare is to make sure we can reach you when the time comes. If your contact information changes at any time, please update Your Profile by logging in to your Canadian Blood Services account, or contact us.

How does stem cell donation work?

A blood stem cell donation from a healthy donor replaces a recipient patient's unhealthy stem cells to help heal and re-boost their immune system. Once a registered donor is selected as a match, a registered nurse will be with you every step of the way.

Learn the process

More about stem cell donation

How are donors matched? Can family members donate stem cells to each other? Do all stem cell donations require surgery?

Find answers to frequently asked questions and common myths.

Read our FAQs